Siddhartha: Novel Summary: Part 2 - Amongst the People

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Siddhartha visits the merchant, Kamaswami. When Kamaswami discovers that Siddhartha can read and write, he invites him to stay as a guest in his house. Siddhartha lives in unaccustomed luxury, and Kamaswami explains his business to him. Soon Siddhartha starts to play a role in the business. He also continues to visit Kamala and learn from her about love. Siddhartha proves himself to be a valuable asset to Kamaswami's business, although he does not take it as seriously as the merchant does. It seems like a game to him and he does not worry about profits and losses. This is quite unlike Kamaswami, who worries and loses sleep whenever a transaction goes wrong. For Siddhartha, business is useful only because it brings him money to spend on Kamala. For the most part, he remains detached from the lives of other people, not sharing what he thinks is the pettiness of their concerns. His heart lies elsewhere. Talking with Kamala, he decides that they are similar. They are not like ordinary people. She says he is still a Samana at heart, because in his heart he loves no one. Siddhartha thinks that Kamala does not really love anyone either.
Analysis
Siddhartha flourishes in his new worldly occupations in part because of the legacy of his many years as a Samana and spiritual seeker. He does not get involved too seriously in the world's affairs. He remains essentially unattached, unlike the worldly merchant Kamaswami. When he begins this new life as merchant and lover, Siddhartha is like a freshly polished diamond. All his years of spiritual practice have given him a quiet strength and resilience that can easily withstand the stresses and strains of worldly life. It will take quite a while for the shine to be rubbed off that diamond. Siddhartha is rather ignorant in this respect; he has no idea of where the path he has chosen to follow will lead him. He will find out in the next chapter.

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